Existing iPhone users may soon be able to trade in their existing phone for a newer model, if a pilot scheme currently in selected Apple Stores proves successful. The scheme, which allows customers to trade up from, say an iPhone 4 to the 5S, already exists with other retailers and on mobile networks, and has already been mentioned by Tim Cook in a recent Apple earnings call, said that it was something that the firm was looking at. “I see channels doing it, and I like the environmental aspect of it, and so that part of it really is encouraging to me,” he said.
Cook’s aim is to increase iPhone sales in Apple Stores, as the majority of units are currently sold through outside channels. The firm is also hoping to clear the in-store Genius Bar from customers wanting to repair damaged iPhones–a cheaper upgrade to a newer model rather than a refurbished replacement phone might prove highly attractive to some users.
The scheme has been on trial recently in Apple retail spaces in and around Dallas. In-store training has begun, and the program could be rolled out as early as next month. TechCrunch has more details on the upgrade prices, said to be cheaper than the amount offered by cash-for-cellphone websites–but the difference is that you can walk out with a brand new phone rather than send it away and wait for the money.